Sorry for the late reply, I was on vacation over the long weekend.
Originally Posted by Magicmissile
I appreciate the feedback! I will try to answer your questions as best I can. My setup is actually pretty non-standard since I have the towers in the rear part of a 20ft garage, and typically listen to them outside by just rolling up the garage door. I have a rural property in the desert on a few acres, and have a nice lounge area directly outside of the garage for stargazing - at nearly 35ft away I could hear the drivers AND the horns working their magic.
Well, this explains why are listening at -1.5MV.
35 feet is a very long distance to be away from your speakers. As you can see from this SPL calculator
, you would need ~250 watts to each speaker to achieve -1.5dB below Reference (103.5dB). Your AVR (according to Pioneer, and most likely inflated specs) is capable of only 230 w/ch (1 ch Driven). Pushing the MV up as high as you are, you are causing distortion and/or clipping, both of which can blow a driver in short order.
You need to move the speakers closer to where you listen, or limit the MV to around -10MV to be safe.
At the time of getting the Pioneer I setup everything using the MCACC with the microphone. I had all doors, windows, and ac turned off during the initial calibration. I then experimented with tuning levels, treble, bass, etc, crossover to get everything comparable to the Denon AVR-S504bt I was previously using. I did NOT calibrate the speakers to 0MV = 105dB peak as I was under the impression this was being done by the MCACC, I did verify the test tones working properly though. MCACC to be honest is confusing, and many menu options you would expect on the pioneer appear to be missing from the interfaces...
In theory, MCACC will calibrate you to Reference...in practice, it is always smart to verify the speaker levels afterwards with an SPL meter.
I typically listened to the volume between 6.5 and 3.5 for hours at a time, so I’m assuming that it was using the default values on the receiver. Maybe I misled myself into thinking it appeared to be the optimal loudness of the horns without damaging them.
Did you mean -
6.5MV to -
3.5MV? If you are actually creeping into the positive range, you really need to back it off.
Your AVR has no way of knowing the actual capabilities of your speakers and the calibration process will not make you immune to damaging your speakers.
On the Bi-amping, I have had mixed results trying to understand passive vs active capability of the speaker with how the internal crossover works. Per klipsch’s documentation on the RP-600M it showed specifically the separation on the binding posts, the top for horn and bottom for the driver. It mentioned that using bi-amping would bypass the internal crossover and use the crossover setting on the external amp or receiver. I was originally Bi-wiring with the Denon but because the pioneer supported bi-amping I decided to go that route instead.
I am fairly certain that removing the post jumpers on your speakers will not bypass the internal crossover, at least I can't find any reference to that on the internet. The RP-600M manual does not mention it either.
Active bi-amping is achieved by removing the speaker's internal crossover and adding external crossovers between the amp and the individual drivers. This is pretty advanced stuff and is mostly relegated to DIY and pro-type speakers.
I did notice a huge improvement removing the binding post and bi-amping - especially with the horns. They seemed muted before when it was bi-wired, and prior to that still had the bridges attached. I’m not in disagreement and I understand the internal crossover is designed to limit and give the best overall performance to the speakers. Perhaps it was my imagination but there appeared to be a big jump in the horns fidelity. If I was actively bi-amping the speakers, and the internal network of the klipsch prevented that additional wattage from affecting the horns - was the power looped back to the receiver?
The human brain will always
interpret "louder" as "better".
After bi-amping, you were sending more power to both drivers which would result in an increase in SPL (louder).
If you want a rockin' garage system, you might want to take a look at much larger speakers with a higher sensitivity rating (JBL, DIY Sound Group, etc.) and adding a separate amplifier....or, just sit closer to the speakers you have.
Hope this helps!